Bottas: The Fight with Ferrari is in the Details

Mercedes Silver Arrow Valtteri Bottas speaks out on the upcoming upgrades during the Spanish Grand Prix, believing that the devil is in the details.

Now that the long-awaited duel between Mercedes and Ferrari is here, the whole of Formula One has its gaze fixed on how the two teams will out-develop one another as the season progresses. The season’s first bout of significant upgrades is set for the upcoming weekend, and the pressure is beginning to mount on Mercedes to regain the lead they have enjoyed in the previous years. Alas, the team is under no illusion, particularly Finnish newcomer Valtteri Bottas. Bottas, who stole his first F1 win in Sochi, spoke on the upcoming round of upgrades – saying that the key to victory will be in the smallest of details:

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 12: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP prepares to drive in the garage during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN – MAY 12: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP prepares to drive in the garage during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“It is a tight battle with Ferrari, it is all about the details. Every single bit counts, and definitely we are trying to develop the car as quickly as we can, with all the new bits.

But there is also a lot of performance every weekend. At the moment, we need to perform with every compound of tire in the optimum window, and that is something that Ferrari has been doing better since the beginning of the year.

They have been more consistent in the operating window with all the compounds, especially on Sundays. So, a lot of work going into that, but also bringing new bits into the car and bringing everything together.

I think we are still quite a lot more to unlock with this package. I still think we have a strong car and a lot of potential, and lots of room for improvements in all the areas.” – Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, during the first training session of GP of Spain in Montmeló, at Catalunya's Circuit on May 12, 2017 (Photo by Miquel Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, during the first training session of GP of Spain in Montmeló, at Catalunya’s Circuit on May 12, 2017 (Photo by Miquel Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Bottas is right on the money. Not only does Mercedes have its work cut out for it with their tire use and degradation – an issue that has effectively already hamstrung Lewis Hamilton on one occasion this season – but they’ll have the voracious Ferrari nipping at their heels all throughout the process. At only the fifth race in the season, it’s fair to say that the 2017 season of Formula One is shaping up to be one of the most competitive yet in recent years.